Israel’s Moral Obligation: Bodies of IDF Soldiers Must Be Brought Back Home, Scholar Says

In 2011, israel released over a thousand Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier captured by Hamas six years earlier.

israel is exerting maximum effort in talks with Hamas, an Islamist group that controls the Gaza Strip, through Egyptian mediators. The goal is to reach an agreement on the release of two civilians and the bodies of two Israeli soldiers believed to be held by the organisation.

Recent days have seen a number of such efforts. On Sunday, Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid met with his Egyptian counterpart in Brussels to discuss the possibility of a deal, meanwhile an Israeli delegation is expected in Cairo later this month for the third round of talks on the issue.

Moral Obligation

Dr Hilly Moodrick-Even Khen, a senior lecturer of public international law at Ariel University, who has been following the developments closely, says Israel has to do what it takes to bring those missing back home.

Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul fell in 2014 during Israel’s Operation Protective Edge. Two years later, Hamas publicly acknowledged that it was holding their bodies.

Over the years, Israel has held a number of talks with Hamas through mediators in a bid to make progress on the issue. None of them have borne fruit, with the reason for this being the high price that the Jewish state has been asked to fork out.

In January, Yahya Sinwar, the Hamas leader in Gaza, said his group would demand the release of 1,111 Palestinian prisoners in exchange…

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